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Author Topic: [ANN] OpenRigs.com - Aluminium Frames for Mining Rigs  (Read 49815 times)
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March 27, 2014, 12:41:33 AM
 #261

fluffypony,

I have sent numerous emails over the past couple weeks asking for an update on my order, #1234. I even reached out to you on litecointalk.org.

Quote
"Hi folks. According to postoffice.co.za the parcel has left SA, however globaltracktrace.ptc.post doesn't show that tracking number. It's been a couple weeks since getting this email so it should be enough time I'd think.

Is this common? How long should I expect to wait?"

Ticket # QIP-NVFKQ-540 was assigned, and I never heard anything back even after a follow-up email. I ordered 1/1/2014.

Can you address this please?
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March 27, 2014, 06:16:07 AM
 #262

fluffypony,

I have sent numerous emails over the past couple weeks asking for an update on my order, #1234. I even reached out to you on litecointalk.org.

Quote
"Hi folks. According to postoffice.co.za the parcel has left SA, however globaltracktrace.ptc.post doesn't show that tracking number. It's been a couple weeks since getting this email so it should be enough time I'd think.

Is this common? How long should I expect to wait?"

Ticket # QIP-NVFKQ-540 was assigned, and I never heard anything back even after a follow-up email. I ordered 1/1/2014.

Can you address this please?

Sorry about that - the ticket was assigned to me, I'll take a look at it and reply shortly:)

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March 27, 2014, 10:07:10 AM
 #263

At least we agree on one thing -- there is a severe disconnect in your understanding of how this process works. To wit -- you are a vendor and I am a customer.

At the time that I used your website, it was not entirely clear to me that I would get my shipment some four to five months later. That was absolutely not clear to me at all. It would be one thing if you put a "projected delivery date... March 15, 2014" on your website. But that is not what you said on your website. Your website said six to eight weeks. As you can see, we are now well past any reasonable time frame for delivery. That is why I am upset now.

Further, as a customer, I do not appreciate that you are putting the entire burden of a missing order on me. I have to notify you that this order is missing. I have to tolerate your mistreatment towards me. Your tone indicates that you have absolutely no respect for me, the customer, that provided you with my hard earned cash and now I'm completely out while you're effectively blaming me for having this problem.

Again, I am demanding a refund. If your fulfillment team blew it, that is NOT my fault.

MD

There is a responsibility on our part to make things as clear as we can, which I believe we did even at the point in time when you ordered. Specifically:

1. A reminder to read the delivery and returns policy when selecting a shipping method:



2. Timelines directly on each of the shipping methods when selecting them (this would not have been there when you ordered, which seems to conflict with your 6-8 week statement):



3. Making the customer tick a box to indicate they have read and agree with the delivery and returns policy before they can make payment:



The delivery and returns policy has now got a pretty blue flowchart (https://openrigs.com/information/information&information_id=6) that it didn't have when you placed your order, precisely because people seemed to forego reading the first two paragraphs.

There is a marked difference between a website purposely misleading customers by keeping hidden charges in fine print tucked away in the middle of nowhere, and making a set of timelines as clear as possible. Due to the nature of our product it was not possible at that early stage to hold massive amounts of stock and just miraculously expect to know what customer demand would be like - it's still not possible now, really. This is an on-demand item, and is produced on-demand and in line with the timelines that we state openly and plainly.

Your order was processed within the timelines you agreed to (you can confirm this yourself by logging in and checking your order history against the timelines on the delivery and returns policy), if there is a particular stage in the process that spilled well past expectation feel free to point it out. I can save you the trouble by reiterating: we processed your order and it was shipped within the timelines you agreed to.

To be clear, there is no responsibility on you to do anything at this point, because your shipment is not missing. That assertion can only be made once we go past the maximum transit period, which we have not done as yet. It also is simply not possible for us to follow up on each and every package; not every country's postal service bothers to provide tracking information for international arrivals. For many parcels they simply give it a local tracking number and we are none-the-wiser. Our insurance has to reach out to the destination post office for confirmation of delivery for every claim (and we've had a handful of situations where people have tried to claim after receiving it).

In summation: the timelines were as clear as we could make them, and you indicated you had read and agreed with them. We processed and shipped it within the timelines you agreed to. We are currently within the transit timeline you agreed to. Had we genuinely erred on your order in some way we would definitely move to rectify it (see wobbzz and joshvette01's experience elsewhere in this thread), but in this instance we did not.

I sympathise with your frustration, I really do, but I have already indicated the action I will take to assist you given the circumstances and timelines. If you feel that it is insufficient then that is a point of disagreement and we have reached an impasse.

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March 27, 2014, 11:59:17 AM
 #264





This has always been my problem with your "process".

Your site says 4-6 weeks, and then you act like the customers are dumbfucks for expecting the surface mail to reach them in 4-6 weeks.

Guess you meant 4-6 months and we should have known that, right?
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March 27, 2014, 12:19:19 PM
 #265

This has always been my problem with your "process".

Your site says 4-6 weeks, and then you act like the customers are dumbfucks for expecting the surface mail to reach them in 4-6 weeks.

Guess you meant 4-6 months and we should have known that, right?


Remember that in the old thread we had this discussion - it was initially quite vague and said 4-6 weeks "or longer" as surface mail was unpredictable. That "or longer" period was never specified, but the maximum transit time of 13 weeks was mentioned, and all of this was listed as being over-and-above the fabrication and customs processes. We have had a number of surface mail deliveries to the UK and Europe that met that initial timeline, but because of the discussion on the previous thread we adjusted the timeline to be more realistic and to match the official timeline on the post office FAQ (http://www.postoffice.co.za/questions/postofficequestions.html). We did that relatively early on, too, to try and manage expectations. There has never been any indication that it would magically appear at a customer's doorstep 4 weeks after they order if they choose surface mail.

It's easy to look at it in hindsight and say "we could've done this" and "we could've done that" - and I'm sure everyone that has commented previously would start a business perfectly and make absolutely no mistakes at all. But we went with what *we* expected based on prior international shipments, and we've admitted our naiveté in those optimistic timelines. Again, the question becomes: what do you do after the fact? We aren't blessed with millions in startup funding so we can just write things off and re-ship every parcel or refund every purchaser. We can't change the speed or course of a surface mail shipment that has already departed. We have completely killed off surface mail as a shipping option, to the detriment of our sales figures, and we are doing everything in our power to sort out those customers that have ordered and are waiting. When we are within the transit timelines (considering that the maximum for surface mail has always been up and has not changed) I do not think it is unreasonable for us to ask that a customer wait for that timeline to play out.

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March 27, 2014, 02:07:28 PM
 #266

This has always been my problem with your "process".

Your site says 4-6 weeks, and then you act like the customers are dumbfucks for expecting the surface mail to reach them in 4-6 weeks.

Guess you meant 4-6 months and we should have known that, right?


Remember that in the old thread we had this discussion - it was initially quite vague and said 4-6 weeks "or longer" as surface mail was unpredictable. That "or longer" period was never specified, but the maximum transit time of 13 weeks was mentioned, and all of this was listed as being over-and-above the fabrication and customs processes. We have had a number of surface mail deliveries to the UK and Europe that met that initial timeline, but because of the discussion on the previous thread we adjusted the timeline to be more realistic and to match the official timeline on the post office FAQ (http://www.postoffice.co.za/questions/postofficequestions.html). We did that relatively early on, too, to try and manage expectations. There has never been any indication that it would magically appear at a customer's doorstep 4 weeks after they order if they choose surface mail.

It's easy to look at it in hindsight and say "we could've done this" and "we could've done that" - and I'm sure everyone that has commented previously would start a business perfectly and make absolutely no mistakes at all. But we went with what *we* expected based on prior international shipments, and we've admitted our naiveté in those optimistic timelines. Again, the question becomes: what do you do after the fact? We aren't blessed with millions in startup funding so we can just write things off and re-ship every parcel or refund every purchaser. We can't change the speed or course of a surface mail shipment that has already departed. We have completely killed off surface mail as a shipping option, to the detriment of our sales figures, and we are doing everything in our power to sort out those customers that have ordered and are waiting. When we are within the transit timelines (considering that the maximum for surface mail has always been up and has not changed) I do not think it is unreasonable for us to ask that a customer wait for that timeline to play out.

I think I said this before, the main reason for all the grievance here is that your shipping process includes some steps that are completely unknown to us, customers from western countries (like several weeks for customs clearance).

When we ship something, once the carrier receives the package they take care of everything and we have only one step in the whole process. And, what exactly is that customs clearance and screening, and who does that??? Even after all this time reading your posts (and, must say, receiving your shipment) I am still puzzled with the whole process.  Tongue
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March 27, 2014, 02:14:57 PM
 #267

<SNIP>
There is a marked difference between a website purposely misleading customers by keeping hidden charges in fine print tucked away in the middle of nowhere, and making a set of timelines as clear as possible. Due to the nature of our product it was not possible at that early stage to hold massive amounts of stock and just miraculously expect to know what customer demand would be like - it's still not possible now, really. This is an on-demand item, and is produced on-demand and in line with the timelines that we state openly and plainly.
<SNIP>
I sympathise with your frustration, I really do, but I have already indicated the action I will take to assist you given the circumstances and timelines. If you feel that it is insufficient then that is a point of disagreement and we have reached an impasse.

Here's the idea or goal or ... mission ... of any legitimate company, organization or enterprise -- to create a product or service that satisfies the needs of the customer. To that end, when you are designating the vendors, suppliers, fulfillment houses that will work with the company, then you -- as the customer liaison and product expert -- MUST carry the customer's best interest while performing those negotiations.

To that end, if you think that the customer will be completely satisfied with "never receiving the product" then you are not operating as a legitimate enterprise. You are now operating as a fraudulent enterprise and you can successfully compare yourself with companies such as Butterfly Labs and/or Enron.

Given that you have been notified many, many times of the problems with your vendors, I find it appalling that you would completely misunderstand my position as the customer and I have to consider that you are now openly defending yourself as an illegitimate enterprise. Consider my points:

 1) I paid you money
 2) I never got the product
 3) I notified you in these public forms MANY times that I never got the product and that I wanted my money back immediately.
 4) In a previous post, you indicated that you would be filing for insurance
 5) In this post you are indicating that "we are at an impasse".

And despite all my notifications and demands, you have completely failed to satisfy my reasonable requests. Either I have the product, or I have my money back.

Just so that we are completely clear -- I hired your company to fulfill a request that I had. I hired your company to provide me with a mining frame and to deliver it in a reasonable amount of time. I hired your company to represent my interests of delivering a product in the shortest amount of time possible such that I can utilize it.

Your company failed to deliver on those promises. Flowcharts, pretty pictures, mountains of words all accomplish absolutely nothing with my stated demand of either having the product or the money back.

Your mission now is to either refund my money immediately or to deliver the product immediately. Barring that, we will not be "at an impasse" -- no...my mission in life will be to notify everyone on all forums and websites to never do business with you. Furthermore, I have the ability to contact people in your own home town and to serve you with court papers.

I do not like being scammed and I really do not like being abused. Again -- you failed your mission of representing and satisfying the customer. AND to add insult to injury -- you BLAME the customer after you got their money. You should contact "RealSolid" as you are just like him. Maybe you two are brothers?
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March 27, 2014, 02:47:50 PM
 #268

Here's the idea or goal or ... mission ... of any legitimate company, organization or enterprise -- to create a product or service that satisfies the needs of the customer. To that end, when you are designating the vendors, suppliers, fulfillment houses that will work with the company, then you -- as the customer liaison and product expert -- MUST carry the customer's best interest while performing those negotiations.

To that end, if you think that the customer will be completely satisfied with "never receiving the product" then you are not operating as a legitimate enterprise. You are now operating as a fraudulent enterprise and you can successfully compare yourself with companies such as Butterfly Labs and/or Enron.

Given that you have been notified many, many times of the problems with your vendors, I find it appalling that you would completely misunderstand my position as the customer and I have to consider that you are now openly defending yourself as an illegitimate enterprise. Consider my points:

 1) I paid you money
 2) I never got the product
 3) I notified you in these public forms MANY times that I never got the product and that I wanted my money back immediately.
 4) In a previous post, you indicated that you would be filing for insurance
 5) In this post you are indicating that "we are at an impasse".

And despite all my notifications and demands, you have completely failed to satisfy my reasonable requests. Either I have the product, or I have my money back.

Just so that we are completely clear -- I hired your company to fulfill a request that I had. I hired your company to provide me with a mining frame and to deliver it in a reasonable amount of time. I hired your company to represent my interests of delivering a product in the shortest amount of time possible such that I can utilize it.

Your company failed to deliver on those promises. Flowcharts, pretty pictures, mountains of words all accomplish absolutely nothing with my stated demand of either having the product or the money back.

Your mission now is to either refund my money immediately or to deliver the product immediately. Barring that, we will not be "at an impasse" -- no...my mission in life will be to notify everyone on all forums and websites to never do business with you. Furthermore, I have the ability to contact people in your own home town and to serve you with court papers.

I do not like being scammed and I really do not like being abused. Again -- you failed your mission of representing and satisfying the customer. AND to add insult to injury -- you BLAME the customer after you got their money. You should contact "RealSolid" as you are just like him. Maybe you two are brothers?

I tried to call you to have a chat, because I think this back-and-forth on the forum is leading to a lot of misunderstanding and is becoming very frustrating for both of us:) Let me know when you're available and I'll give you a call and we can chat.

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March 27, 2014, 03:19:40 PM
 #269

13 weeks was not mentioned, i wouldnt have ordered one!  I ordered on 13/12/2013 and it took you two fkn months to ship it, CN022190195ZA  and i want a refund too.  dont worry, if it ever fucken arrives here, ill ship it back the slowest fucken way i can(fkn dog sled team if i have to)
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March 27, 2014, 03:23:44 PM
 #270

13 weeks was not mentioned, i wouldnt have ordered one!  I ordered on 13/12/2013 and it took you two fkn months to ship it, CN022190195ZA  and i want a refund too.  dont worry, if it ever fucken arrives here, ill ship it back the slowest fucken way i can(fkn dog sled team if i have to)

You ordered during our holiday period - we had the holiday notice on checkout and on the delivery and returns policy from the 5th of December. It's still visible (archived) on the policy, but here's a cut and paste: "Please note that the fabrication team will be going on leave from December 20th to January 6th. However, not all of them will be away at the same time, so we will continue to process and fabricate orders, but at reduced capacity. Orders placed after the 11th of December may be affected by this, and could experience fabrication delays. We will continue to do our best to meet our customer's expectations and deliver as timeously as possible!"

Unfortunately we are not currently giving out refunds except in instances where delivery goes beyond the transit timeline, in which case it can be deemed lost and insurance can cover it.

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March 27, 2014, 04:46:57 PM
 #271

Are you sure you aren't a Nigerian Prince?
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March 27, 2014, 04:51:30 PM
 #272

Are you sure you aren't a Nigerian Prince?

I wish...Prince Bongaronga Wamemgi still owes me USD 250 Millions ($250,000,000 exactly) that I won in the Nokia Coca-Cola lottery. So annoying!

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March 27, 2014, 11:09:32 PM
 #273

#1234


- that`s kind of a cool order number )
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March 28, 2014, 12:54:04 AM
 #274

EDITED BY ZEDICUS!


4/2/14  Package Received  

-------------------------------------------



I let the situation get the best of me ion this post so i have deleted it! Hope everyone gets there frame!

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March 28, 2014, 02:14:08 AM
 #275

<SNIP>
Your mission now is to either refund my money immediately or to deliver the product immediately. Barring that, we will not be "at an impasse" -- no...my mission in life will be to notify everyone on all forums and websites to never do business with you. Furthermore, I have the ability to contact people in your own home town and to serve you with court papers.

I tried to call you to have a chat, because I think this back-and-forth on the forum is leading to a lot of misunderstanding and is becoming very frustrating for both of us:) Let me know when you're available and I'll give you a call and we can chat.


@ Mindragon - You are not alone. If you are considering taking it to court, lets get together and maybe we can do this as group!

<SNIP>

As per our conversation, fluffypony will be refunding my money by April 1. I will report back to here either way that it goes.

MD
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March 28, 2014, 02:28:14 AM
 #276

<SNIP>
Your mission now is to either refund my money immediately or to deliver the product immediately. Barring that, we will not be "at an impasse" -- no...my mission in life will be to notify everyone on all forums and websites to never do business with you. Furthermore, I have the ability to contact people in your own home town and to serve you with court papers.

I tried to call you to have a chat, because I think this back-and-forth on the forum is leading to a lot of misunderstanding and is becoming very frustrating for both of us:) Let me know when you're available and I'll give you a call and we can chat.


@ Mindragon - You are not alone. If you are considering taking it to court, lets get together and maybe we can do this as group!

<SNIP>

As per our conversation, fluffypony will be refunding my money by April 1. I will report back to here either way that it goes.

MD


Good for you! Im glad your getting a refund, You deserve it!

Maybe its dumbfucks like me who go around doing shit like this that dont deserve it!!!!!     
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=347756.msg3945557#msg3945557



Let us know how it goes!

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◣Whitepaper ◣ANN ThreadTelegram
◣ Facebook     ◣ Reddit          ◣ Slack


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March 28, 2014, 06:43:57 AM
 #277

NOTE: Apparently this is normal for delivery to North America. Read the timelines on the site.

Order #685 here. Date Added: 29/11/2013.

So I ordered back in November 2013 for the black friday sale. 104 days later I'm still sitting here wondering where my GPU frames are. Thank god I didn't decide to wait to do my builds. Here are some details:

---------------

29/11/2013   Pending      

05/12/2013   Fabrication      Aluminium has arrived (yay!), plastic is being moulded at the speed of soft thunder, and we're fabricating away!

19/12/2013   Shipped, pending customs check      Off it goes! Customs will now do a little x-ray and a paperwork check to make sure all is in
order. Once that's done we'll be given tracking numbers, which we'll send on to you within the next couple of days at the most:)

17/01/2014   Shipped to customer

---------------

Track History
Date   Time   Location   Description   Retail Location   Signatory Name
2014/01/23   11:28   ZACPTD,South Africa   International item has left originating country and is en route to Canada      
2014/01/20   09:32   ZACPTD,South Africa   International item processed in originating country

---------------


I agree - surface mail has been a dog. We're seeing around 9.7 weeks to the US at present, sometimes more, sometimes less. It's honestly been the WORST shipping method on the face of the planet, to the point where it's removed and no longer even an option. Please let me know if you don't receive it in the coming weeks, and we'll sort you out with a replacement/refund ASAP:)

Edit: forgot to add that we have new EMS pricing that is significantly lower, and EMS transit times are 1 week instead of the ridonkulous 10+ weeks!


Thanks for your quick response. I do appreciate you being available on the forum even in the face of adversity. Will let you know.

Hello Fluffy,

It has been over two weeks since my last communication on this forum. I've been waiting 120 days for order #685. As you've offered in your forum post above, I am kindly requesting a refund for my order. I would like to do this as quickly and painlessly as possible. Please let me know what information you require.

Kind regards,
Dynamike
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March 28, 2014, 07:40:12 AM
 #278


Hello Fluffy,

It has been over two weeks since my last communication on this forum. I've been waiting 120 days for order #685. As you've offered in your forum post above, I am kindly requesting a refund for my order. I would like to do this as quickly and painlessly as possible. Please let me know what information you require.

Kind regards,
Dynamike

Well I will be damned. 

Someone has a longer standing order than me...

Silly fool, you should have known that 4-6 weeks "or longer" meant that it could take up to 7 years...

Surprised they didn't just put it at 4-6 hours OR LONGER... after all, it means the same fucking thing, does it not?
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March 28, 2014, 08:29:05 AM
 #279

I think it's time for me to put a stop to this. This is the last thing I'm going to write on the topic of surface mail, because at some point it is flogging a dead horse. We no longer offer surface mail as a shipping option, so it no longer presents a problem.

Zedicus, you once said that the reason you were "busting my balls" was because I give a shit. But it's getting increasingly more difficult to "give a shit" when I have been insulted, demeaned, called a scammer and a thief, told I "treat customers like shit", and finally likened to RealSolid and to running a company like Enron. It makes me feel like all the energy and effort I'm putting in trying to resolve things for existing customers is worthless - for every angry forum post there are another 10 angry customers contacting us through the support system.

I have tried to be serious and defend myself and my company. I have tried to be light-hearted and get some guy on Fiverr to record a funny video to make people smile despite their frustration. I have upgraded people's shipping methods at our expense where it was possible and feasible. It seems like no matter what I do it is simply not good enough.

I could have made a dash with everyone's money, I could have launched under a pseudonym, scammed away, and then disappeared. But I'm not going anywhere. That's not the sort of person I am, for better or worse. That does not mean that I will allow everyone to constantly spew vitriol and attack me or attack OpenRigs - there is a point where it has to stop. I want to make it extremely clear that at this stage we are seriously considering liquidating the company and shipping out the last couple of orders.

To that end, I'm going to be as brutal, as transparent, and as honest as possible. I don't want to debate this, I don't want to have each point picked apart, and I don't want to go back and forth on minutiae over and over and over again. You don't have to like what I'm saying, you don't have to agree, you don't have to even care about any of it. If there are going to be a bunch of unhelpful abusive replies I am going to delete them and lock the topic with this as the last post, so if there is something you want to rant about or a specific point you want to discuss I implore you to email me (ric@openrigs.com) or PM me or give me your number and I'll call you.

I would ask that you read this through in its entirety. I know that there are some things that I will say that you may disagree with, that may even anger you, and that is not my intention. I am just being honest and transparent, quite possibly as a prelude to shutting the entire company down.

What happened? Why is everyone so angry?

Let's recap. When we launched we had an option called "Surface Mail". Having sent surface mail parcels to my in-laws in Germany before, we figured that the "2-3 months" shipping timeline the post office gives (http://postoffice.co.za/questions/postofficequestions.html) was just to have a bit of a buffer, and that practically speaking it would arrive in the 4-6 weeks we expect. We made the decision to list the expected transit time for surface mail as "4-6 weeks or longer" and make a note that the maximum is 13 weeks.

We also had something new to deal with: the customs process. When sending a parcel in our personal capacity (or even as a business) you just get the courier to collect it or you take it to the post office, and off it goes. They normally need a commercial invoice and a customs declaration of some kind, but there's nothing else involved. Now when you have a business whose primary role is exporting, things change. You have to apply to be an exporter. Depending on what you're exporting and how long you've been in business, customs may dictate that you comply with various requirements. They can be particularly stringent given that this is a country rife with diamond and ivory smuggling. We further complicated matters with our desire for customers to pay little or no customs duties. Since the export and customs declaration is indelibly linked to your VAT declaration on a per-invoice basis (customs is part of SARS, who are the tax man) you can't just export with whatever invoice you want unless you want to swiftly end up in court. Our decision to attach invoices bearing No Commercial Value on the items has saved many customers a fortune in customs (and caused headaches for some!), but it has also made our lives complicated as we have been fully at the mercy of a customs process that can sometimes be extremely lengthy.

Ok, so what does that mean?

For customers that ordered and chose EMS or Aramex as a shipping option there should (generally speaking) be no issue. There are always going to be situations where we drop the ball, but we're normally pretty good at resolving those where we're made aware of them.

For customers that ordered and chose surface mail, it has been a little more complicated. We only realised that many of the shipments were going well past their 4-6 week transit period when we were well into February. Most customers had been quite reasonable and had waited a bit after that before saying anything. Added to that was the constant trolling in the previous thread by a single user under multiple accounts, and we ended up not being able to see the wood for the trees. When we realised that many surface mail shipments were going past the expected date, and based on a suggestion in the old forum thread, we changed the surface mail timelines from 4-6 weeks to 6-10 weeks. The maximum of 13 weeks stayed and was still listed.

We have subsequently removed surface mail as a shipping option given the nature of the issues experienced.

I don't believe you! When I ordered it said nothing about 13 weeks!

I understand that most people didn't see the 13 week maximum. If anyone's interested, I restored a copy of the database from the end of November 2013 (the contents of the delivery and returns policy are in the database) to confirm that: http://i.imgur.com/zxrrneA.png. It was the last line in the paragraph on shipping timelines, so whilst it wasn't exactly vague I can understand how it could have been missed. I'm also aware that we have had disconnects between what is in the database and what was cached by our front-end's long lived full page cache during updates, and in those instances we have come to an agreement with the buyer and reshipped their parcel to them via an express service.

So it says it on some policy document, that's so obscure! SCAM!

When you put a product up online there are a million decisions to make. Do you include shipping in the cost and then provide upgraded shipping options? How do you effectively convey information to customers without overloading them with fourty paragraphs of text during checkout? We have a lot of experience domestically where we import products on-demand and they are sold online. We specify timelines in our delivery and returns policy documents on those sites, and have historically not had any issues - the occasional customer that doesn't read it and enquires after ordering is pointed to that page and all is fine. Many of them do read the document before completing checkout, as it is linked to in multiple places. Maybe South Africans are more patient given the poor service delivery that is so common here, but either way based on our previous experience we did not feel it necessary to list the timelines anywhere other than on the delivery and returns policy page. Looking back on it that was not the best decision, but it was the best decision we could make with the information at the time.

Does this mean OpenRigs is a scam??

I'm obviously a little biased, but no. It is and has always been our mission to have an excellent product that customers are ecstatic with. We have made mistakes, and for those mistakes the blame rests solely on our shoulders. Where we have made mistakes we always do our best to rectify them.

Well you obviously made a mistake with the shipping timelines!

Yes, we absolutely did. We expected 4-6 weeks, and that was what we published as an expected timeline. However, we were always very clear on the maximum timeline.

All this sounds like justification, stop with the excuses!

I cannot apologise enough where customers have unwittingly or unknowingly ordered using a shipping method that can up to 13 weeks over and above the entire fabrication and customs process. I know that I would be extremely irate if I ordered something and didn't have it 4 months later, so I do sympathise with customers. The question is: what can we do about it?

Can't you just re-send my parcel using a fast shipping method? Or just refund me?

There are some customers where re-sending has been possible (e.g. where we shipped using the incorrect method), and when their surface mail shipment arrives we will find a way to get it back from them. However, it simply isn't possible for us to do this at scale -  we don't have the money to double-ship everyone's parcel. Refunding poses similar issues - we simply do not have the funds to refund customers where there item has already shipped.

Allow me to illustrate. Let's say you paid $150 for an OpenRigs product in December, $100 for the product and $50 for surface mail shipping. That shipping cost is a raw cost and we don't make "profit" on shipping, so we've spent the $50. The raw materials, labour, packaging, etc. for the product is, say, $85. So we have $15 left over as profit. But now, many months later, that profit has been spent covering the normal costs of business - exorbitant PayPal fees, covering our losses from instances where we've been scammed by customers (it happens, unfortunately), rent, salaries, etc. I haven't drawn a salary since the end of December, but I can't expect any of the staff to do the same.

Now you come along and you want a refund. Usually in a business there is cash flow that allows for it, but because of the negative feedback loop and because we have removed surface mail as a shipping option, there simply aren't sales to create sufficient new profit to cover a refund on even a single order. That does not mean we're going to make a run for the border, but it does mean that in order for us to refund or replace an order we are reliant on a successful claim from our cargo insurers.

That's not my problem! Just give me my money or I'll serve you with court papers!

Ok, let's put the 13 week surface mail thing aside for the moment. Knowing that we are not able to refund you unless we claim from our insurer, what do you think is the alternative? Legally speaking it's very simple: you could take us to court (small claims or otherwise), demanding your money back. Of course, this is fraught with problems, as by the time that even gets filed all of the surface mail parcels will have been delivered or replaced/refunded by our insurer, invalidating non-delivery claims. I'd also hazard a guess that the court would most likely find in our favour, given that the policy and timelines were linked to, available and were specifically opted in to during checkout. Even if you were to pursue it regardless and for whatever reason the court found in your favour, what then? We're a business that has barely been in operation for a few months, we have no notable assets.

In South African law when a person (a natural person or, as in this case, a juristic person) has more liabilities than they have assets they have the option of sequestration (natural person) or liquidation (juristic person). In the event of insolvent liquidation or compulsory liquidation, the appointed liquidator would be responsible for selling off the assets and apportioning payments to creditors based on the size of their claim. Factor in costs of liquidation and so on, and you'd be lucky to receive a couple of cents to the Dollar as a refund. I think I can confidently say that nobody wants to go through the time and effort for that.

Whatever, I'll destroy you on every forum and by talking to everyone I know!

Our audience is technically minded. If they want to purchase from us the first thing they're going to do is Google, and they're going to come across one of the many "OpenRigs is a scam!" threads started by the troll from the previous thread, or even one of the newer ones where people are asking if we're a scam. The damage has already been done, as this thread is evidence thereof. There is literally nothing you can do to worsen our reputation, it's already been destroyed to the point where shutting the business down is a very realistic option.

Well good, you deserved it, you treat customers like shit.

I am truly sorry if anyone has felt mistreated by me or anyone on the support team. I have never wanted anyone to feel abused or mistreated by us. It has been very hard to know where to draw the line between pandering and putting our foot down. We've had customers that have said "I read the 13 week shipping thing and I understood the whole process, but I thought my order would be faster". Other customers claim ignorance and put the blame solely on us - although, legally speaking, the principle of caveat emptor applies as long as we were not being malicious in hiding our terms (which arguably we weren't as we linked to them in multiple places during checkout). So when someone comes and complains about not having received their order, I have to take it at face value and try resolve it for them to the best of my ability, which sometimes means refusing a refund at that point in the order process.

Where an order was processed and shipped within the timelines we stipulate (as in mindragon's order) but has been in transit for an extended period of time I don't want to be a dick. I want to refund them or have their parcel arrive, nothing would make me happier! And, after all, in an ideal world we wouldn't even be in this situation, and I'm very cognisant of the things we have done to exacerbate the situation. But, again, what choice do we have? Even if we could refund someone out our own pocket it would merely open the door to everyone claiming ignorance and getting a refund. The 13 week period was not a joke, it was a fundamental part of the process, and we have to stand by it.

But you're refunding mindragon, why can't you refund me?

With regards to mindragon's order we have spoken to our cargo insurer and have agreed to evaluate the situation over the next few days. I have committed to mindragon telephonically that it would be resolved by April 1st. That is not an offer I can extend to everyone, it is specific to him and his order and subject to a discussion I had already had with our insurer. It does not mean everyone can jump on the bandwagon and demand a refund - if I file for refunds for everyone under the 13 week transit period our insurer is just going to wait until the 13 weeks are up on all of them, and no amount of ranting and complaining publicly or privately is going to change that or make money for refunds magically appear. Even in cases where they allow the refund on assumption that the shipment is missing, they can and do watch for the item to be delivered, after which they use an agent in that country to reclaim their funds. Insurance companies hate paying money.

If I had started OpenRigs I wouldn't have done it this way, and I would refund customers immediately

It's easy to be an armchair businessman and tell us what we should have and could have done. It's even easier for us to look back in hindsight and know what we could have done differently. But it is what it is - customers chose surface mail either not realising that there was a 13 week maximum transit, or reading the 4-6 week transit and taking that as specific; and we were not as clear as we could have been regarding transit timelines.

You're a dick, you don't apologise to customers!

Often times in amidst the need to constantly defend the company and myself, coupled with the desperation in trying to find a solution for customers, I forget to apologise. I get caught up in timelines and policies and explanations, because people are demanding that. But I am sorry. I am so very, very sorry that customers have not had an amazing experience with OpenRigs. I wish with all my heart that we could have had the benefit of knowledge right at the outset to know what a nightmare surface mail and customs would be. Over the last few weeks I've been particularly despondent, and I have often wished I didn't even start OpenRigs. I just wanted people to have a great looking, well designed, solid case for their mining equipment, and I wanted them to benefit from all the effort we put in to designing the frames for our own use. Creating something amazing is no fun unless you are able to share it with others.

I am truly sorry for anyone that has had a bad experience with us. It has never been, and is still not, my intention to scam anyone or operate a fraudulent business. I cannot express how much I want to change things, how much I want everyone who chose surface mail to have their shipments arrive. If I were a wealthy person in my personal capacity I would even put whatever amount needed in to reship or refund parcels that are still en-route. I am so, so sorry that I don't have the ability or the resources to do that. To be frank, the last few weeks in particular have been incredibly depressing, and I wake up 4 or 5 times a night to check to see if anyone has replied to a forum thread with more negativity. I have never before felt as dejected, exhausted, and completely powerless as I do right now.

Ok...ummmm...so now what?

I hope I've explained the current situation as best I can and given insight into what our current options are. If you chose surface mail and your order is en-route and left the country less than 13 weeks ago I would beg you to please hold on till the end of that period, after which we can claim and refund or replace your order.

I understand completely if you don't care about anything I've written above - and that is your prerogative. I don't want to liquidate OpenRigs, I don't want to shut it all down, and I don't want to screw over those customers whose parcels may genuinely have gone missing, but it may be our best and only option. We had been working hard at providing a completely new logistics chain for OpenRigs in the next few weeks, and on launching a number of new products, but at this juncture I'm not sure if that is the correct way forward.

Just to reiterate, I don't want to turn this into another back-and-forth where someone counters a point and then I have to explain it and then on and on we go ad infinitum. I know that there are some things I've said and some decisions that have been taken that not everyone will agree with, but ultimately it is us who have to make the decisions, not anyone else. If this is a business that has tried and failed mainly due to circumstances beyond our control, so be it, it will have been a hard lesson to learn. As mentioned at the outset, if you want to discuss any specifics, please feel free to contact me using the contact details listed above.

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March 28, 2014, 12:15:43 PM
 #280

Well my order of november 2013 arrived
sadly in a damaged or opened box
Its absolute certain that the a side has been opened by customs or other subjects.
And it looks like some items either fell out or that i supposed to use 1 thumbscrew and 1 copper board spacer. to mount a mainboard and gpu's.
I have no idea what suppose to be in the box, but would not surprise me if more is missing
The problem is that you get a choice to either receive the box or let it go back, without seeing the state its in.
Another nice disappointment

Ah that sucks - don't stress, the spare brass standoff and thumbscrew is just that, a spare included for those that have odd motherboard mounts and need to reposition their motherboard.

Once you've used the assembly guide you'll be able to ascertain what is missing, if anything, and we can courier replacements to you:)

I need to get some time to build the rack but this far only busy with care of my lady being sick.
And lots of other tasks to complete. So far as i see the pictures in the thread it looks like something or someone had used considerable force
The tapped place for a "(thumb) screw which is not there" has been bent, and i see i am missing already the thumbscrews and/or brass standoffs

The whole top of the box was torn loose at 1 side, i need to check the list of parts to see if any of the pipes are missing.
But as i compared the pictures i think most of the pipes is present, so looks like someone needed some thumbscrews and standoffs for personal use.

Or the customs guys had the bright idea their might have been drugs in the thumbscrews Sad
As i can see on the pictures those screws should be mounted on the pipes, coming weekend going to check what is missing.
 
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